Our family of four stayed in Amarela during the last week of May 2012. It is located in the quiet side of Panglao Island, several kilometers away from the busy stretch of Alona Beach. It is perfect for couples and families who want a quiet getaway, free from hawkers and nightclubs. The place is family-owned, and consists of two quaintly-decorated buildings with many paintings by Filipino artists, an al fresco restaurant that looks out to the sea, a library where one can borrow books and DVDs for free, a small pool, and a clean, guarded beachfront with deck chairs and hammocks. They also have kayaks and snorkeling equipment that can be used for free. My kids (12 and 14 y.o.)
enjoyed the free DVDs, which kept them entertained in the evenings. There is also an area for playing beach volleyball within the resort.
We took two adjacent rooms, one with a queen -sized bed, the other with two twin beds. The rooms were just the right size, with a fan and window-type air cons, a TV with some cable channels, a DVD player, a bath with shower, and small balconies with a pool view. The facilities were clean, and the gardens well-kept.
The plated breakfast at the restaurant was alright, with a choice of American, English, continental or Filipino: salad, eggs, ham, bread, rolls, daing na bangus (marinated and fried milkfish), and coffee/tea or juice. A la carte lunch and dinner was served. The food was delicious but pricey for the location, and almost as expensive as eating out in a good restaurant in Metro Manila. One dish good for one person was priced between 400-600 pesos. There are no alternative eating places that are close to the hotel, so if one wishes to eat in another restaurant, he would have to call for a taxi or request use of the shuttle, for a fee.
The hotel can arrange tours around Bohol, or car rentals, but they are more expensive than others that are listed on the internet. If you have adventurous teens or adults in your group, arrange a day trip to Danao Eco-Adventure park where you can go river trekking, rappelling, caving, and do the canyon plunge (the highest free-fall with a harness in the world). You can stay overnight there, but the room facilities are very basic.
The sea in front of the resort had a lot of sea grass. We were able to snorkel at the small marine sanctuary but there weren't too many corals and fish to admire when we were there. We came during low season, so we had the beach to ourselves, which was a plus. There are no jet skis or banana boats to rent here, though, as the resort owners are ecologically-conscious. You would have to go to Alona beach for that.
The staff was efficient, friendly and respectful. One staffer even returned a swim mask that I left in the pool area.
- Also Known As:
- Amarela Hotel Panglao Island
- Amarela Hotel
- Amarela Resort Bohol
- Amarela Hotel Bohol
- Amarela Resort Bohol Province/Panglao Island
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amarela is a cozy yet elegant boutique resort atop a gentle slope with a stunning panoramic view of Bohol Sea and neighboring islands. Natural sandstone pathways run through native landscape, leading to the long stretch of white beach. The resort showcases local art and culture in meticulous detail - highlighting antique & traditional furniture, artifacts & handicrafts, old hardwood doors & floors, as well as an outstanding collection of sculpture & paintings. ... more less
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